THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Medium is very important when you do a work of art but what medium the artist chooses shows his expertise in his work itself. Baiju Dev is one such artist who has always stood out from the rest of the crowd because of his unique style of art. He has been continuously experimenting with the medium giving each of his work a more attractive look.
Baiju’s recent exhibition titled ‘Vidhivarshangalkoru Sakshipathram’ at Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan chronicles the relationship between man and nature, how each and every element of nature is connected to the life of human beings. This artist has used ink as a medium in his paintings and he says there is a reason. “I consider black to be the strongest means of expression. In my paintings, I have tried to bring out the connection between man and nature.”
There is always something from which the artist draws inspiration, be it trees, animals or humans. Baiju finds his inspiration in nature and this is evident from his paintings which celebrates the connection between man and nature. The images are the artist’s deep thoughts. One image is of a plant in a pot. The artist has tried to bring out the idea that a plant just needs one cup of water to sustain. The artist compares the same situation to the life of some mothers who remain in apartments without any knowledge of the outside world and are not allowed to go anywhere. It reveals the helpless situation they are in.
Baiju’s works also portray his childhood experiences where his house was on the lakeside with a description of the fish in the lake. These fish are also a subject of his work. The ink paintings not only reveal how nature is harmed by man’s activities but also tells about situations when you want to support someone but often fail to do it. All the paintings are done in ink and the artist says the struggle is real. He says, “When you use ink as a medium, there is often a chance of ink getting spread. So in order to complete one painting, it takes about three days. When I started doing ink paintings, I was continuously experimenting how I can do it more creatively.” Baiju usually does his ink drawings directly on the canvas. So he has to be extremely careful while doing the paintings.
He has participated in many exhibitions inside and outside Kerala and done illustrations for popular magazines and books in Malayalam. He won the Camel Award in 2008 and illustration award from Bala Sahitya Institute in 2017. Since 36 years, he has been working as a teacher in Palakkad and is also a member of Kerala Lalithakala Akademi. The exhibition will conclude on April 13.